clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Panthers UDFA Profile: WR Fred Ross

Here’s a look at the productive former MSU bulldog.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Before I go any further here’s profiles on several of the Panthers rookie class done by Durst pre-draft.

WR Curtis Samuel pre-draft profile

CB Corn Elder pre-draft profile

LB Ben Boulware pre-draft profile


Fred Ross 6’1” 213 lbs

4.51 40 yd dash

Ross made a positive impression at the recently concluded rookie mini camp. It’s apparent the Panthers had had their eye on him, having brought him in for a tryout in the lead up to the draft.

Fred Ross: "I have a big boulder on my shoulder"

All Ross can do is smile and shake his head when asked why he went undrafted after posting 160 catches for 1,924 yards and 17 touchdowns in his two seasons as a starter for Mississippi State.

“It’s not any of my business. God has a plan, and I’m just going to trust this process,” Ross said. “I’m very motivated. I have a big boulder on my shoulder.”

Ross had a feeling the Panthers were interested in his services during the pre-draft process. They hosted him on a visit, and he got good vibes from the coaching staff.

“When I didn’t get drafted, this is one of the first places I thought about,” Ross said. “I’m glad they came after me and had me join the team.”

Looking at his highlights what stands out is how tough of a receiver he is. He really fights for the ball.

NFL Draft Profile

Fred Ross Draft Profile – NFL.com

STRENGTHS - Handled a heavy target rate over last two seasons. Catches with strong hands and excellent arm extension. Capable hand fighter who is able to claw his way back inside against corners with leverage. Plays with good hand quickness to reach high and secure throws that are right on top of him. Does a good job of utilizing his body as a shield. Offers viable punt return option. Had 10 of his 37 punt returns go for 15 or more yards.

He looks good for sure. When you read about his weaknesses it seems like they are looking real hard to find fault.

WEAKNESSES - Short-stepper with vertical limitations. Physical press corners can grind him up off the release. Lacks the long speed to back cornerbacks off of him. Had eight drops this season and 13 over last two years. Does not have the feet to shake a talented athlete across from him. Has tight hips and struggles mightily to make adjustments to poorly thrown balls. Lingers at top of his routes rather than firing out of his breaks. Can't create space through burst.

DRAFT PROJECTION

Round 6-7

BOTTOM LINE

Ross has adequate size and uses it effectively in space, but his hip tightness and lack of long speed are major concerns. Tight man coverage will be difficult for Ross to beat due to his lack of separation quickness. His route to the pros may be a zone-beater with punt return value.

Where does he fit?

The Panthers typically carry at least 5 WRs sometimes even six. If you assume that three of them are taken by Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess and Curtis Samuel that leaves all of these veteran players in addition to UDFA Fred Ross (and other rookies) fighting for those last two or maybe three roster spots:

Brenton Bersin, Damiere Byrd, Keyarris Garrett, Charles Johnson, and Russell Shepard

The truth is he has a real shot.

Social Media

You have to like a player with the nickname ‘The Boss’. Seems I’ve heard that somewhere...hmmm drawing a blank. Back in the Glory Days when I had a Human Touch I could think of such things. Anyway...

Fred the Boss Ross of course goes by @TheBoss_8

He stands out in a crowd as he had hair dyed like OBJ. I’m not saying that is the look he was going for, just that it reminds me of OBJ. In spite of our distaste for OBJ I would certainly welcome his clone to the roster.